Suicidal people are humans too, needing love from other humans. Taking away some of the stigmas of suicide and viewing the suicidal as precious lovely people, real people, we can express unconditional love. Instead of ONLY passing off the difficult situation to someone else’s responsibility, can we also look at our own resources that we can give to those during a
Please hear that clearly — yes, we do need to connect a suicidal person with professional help. But passing the buck is not spreading the love!!!! We have the ability to know our limitations in such a situation AND actively spread love and help to the person in crisis.
Spreading Unconditional Love
Love that does not come with conditions = unconditional love. It is a treasured commodity.
This sounds too simplistic but if you were to ask a suicidal person if they felt loved enough many would say no. Same with being worthy enough of receiving love. It makes no difference what an outsider perceives or thinks. It is the suicidal person that matters. It is their perception that may lead to suicide.
We have not walked in their exact shoes so spread love, not judgment or shame.
We can never know all the complexities of another but we CAN spread love, especially to those we know are struggling. We certainly cannot take away the pain they are experiencing but we can show them love by very simple acts.
Life is tough and we all need a little understanding and kindness. For some life becomes unbearable. We simply cannot know everything that is going on in the minds of others.
What would happen if we all could spread just a little random love on other humans??? “Paying it forward” is the random act of love and kindness that can help to keep an unknown suicidal person a live one more day. It is in that one more day that they may receive help or release of the
Since a suicidal person does not always show it on the outside, we do not always know who is suicidal.
Smiling at a complete stranger on the street may change the outcome of that person’s day which keeps them alive to experience more acceptance, love
I know it sounds overly simplistic. In this negative, harsh, fast-paced world we live in, any act of kindness, gentleness, love and warmth creates a better reality in which people can find hope.
Sharing Help is Sharing Hope
For those who are chronically ill and have suicidal ideations, help is usually a basic need. When basic needs are not being met, life may appear more hopeless.
CHRONICALLY means long term. The illness has gone on and on and on. It can be a depressing state to be in for even the most emotionally secure person. As the years pass without basic help, it can all get exasperating and can slip into hopelessness.
During illness, people lose much of what they had control over, including their own bodies. The physical needs are endless.
Housework, yard work, driving to appointments, meal preparation, bathing, supervision while taking a walk around the block. There are tons of needs that usually do not get met. I am not talking about unrealistic wants, I am talking basic human needs that a chronically ill person cannot do for themselves.
Offering ANY help of any kind in any way is HUGE to a depressed chronically ill person.
Human contact is also a basic human need that does not always get met during depression and chronic illness which may intensify the depression, leading to suicide. People need people.
Others don’t even have to understand the dilemma of suicidal ideations to offer basic help to those suffering. Just show up!!! Offer anything!!!! Make a call, send a note, offer a hand of help for the endless basic needs that have to be met for survival.
Many who are chronically ill complain, a LOT. Have you ever thought of the fact that they have a LOT of basic human needs that are not being met???
All of this can spiral out of control and turn into suicidal thoughts, easily for the chronically ill.
This population of chronically ill people is growing, as well as the suicide rate. It can be easy to connect the dots and see that we not only need to address suicide but we also need to address helping the ill in more effective ways so that it leads to
This is not a job for someone else to do, it is for ALL of us to do. We can all contribute to the welfare of others. We don’t have to have financial resources or an abundance of patience. We simply have to show up in our own way to provide anything to any other human that is suffering.
Ill People Can Also Spread Love and Help
It is the people who also have experienced deep depression, suicidal thoughts and the suffering of being chronically ill that have some of the unique resources to help others. They have an understanding of those specific issues that healthy people have not experienced.
We understand the general struggles of illness, isolation, loss, despair, fear, hopelessness. Yet, we have to remember no matter how much compassion we obtain, we can only work within our own limitations. Reaching beyond our own limitations can harm others in a fragile state.
If you are one who is chronically ill, you too can step up by reaching out to someone you know who may be having suicidal thoughts. Within your own limitations!!!! Walking cautiously is best for the suicidal person so we do no harm.
You will be having your own struggles but you can make a phone call, type or handwrite a note, or simply smile at any human you have contact with. You can lend a listening ear to a visitor, you never know what that listening ear can provide THEM.
During your own illness, you can choose to have conversations with others without pulling them deeper into darkness. We can pay more attention to our own darkness and realize that it pulls others down. We want to build people up, not tear them down.
It is the people who have visited the darkness of suicidal thoughts that can identify with those currently struggling. SO, identify!!!! If you don’t know the right words, say, “I don’t know what to say but I can give you a hug, a listening ear, or sit with you quietly in support.” It just might be the only support that person has received in months, or a year or so. It can be life-changing.
When it comes down to it, all we have for certain is THIS moment in time. At this moment, what is presented? Is there another human being to connect with in any way? Each connection provides something to both parties involved.
Through working with the chronically ill, I have many interactions with suicidal people struggling through the hopelessness. Decades ago, I also attempted to kill myself, going into a comma and worsening my health issues. Yet, I rarely have the correct words. There are trained professionals who supposedly have the correct words.
After my own experience with a suicide attempt and the countless interactions with suicidal people, all I really do know is that we all are usually doing our very best. Our best may not match others expectations but that does not matter one
We all have the ability to reach out. We can accept that our words and actions might not be perfect but our hearts can be open to trying to connect with the suicidal to the best of our ability.
Remember, the suicidal person is sensitive in their own manner. Our version of help is not always helpful.
- We may have a hug to offer but that may be too much for them to handle
- Being present and available may be helpful
- We may have listening ears to give but they are not always able to verbalize their feelings or problems
- Offering listening ears but not insisting on them explaining anything
- We may offer conversation but they are not paying attention
- Be accepting that concentration is not going to happen with a suicidal person
- We may try to get them outside to experience “life” but it creates a panic attack
- Offer safety (from their perspective, not ours), take it at their pace (not ours)
- We may call them on the phone but they are too overwhelmed to answer
- Leave a kind message that they can listen to on their own terms
You get the idea. Get out of your own expectations, your own timeline, your own wishes, your own head and try to get into the shoes of the person who needs help to survive another suicidal day. Don’t expect that you can solve everything, just be available.
Our expectations do not match the reality of a suicidal person. Setting aside the judgment, the shame, the pressure, the chains we force on others sometimes, we can step into their shoes a bit better to find out how to meet their needs.
Helping the suicidal receive specific assitance;
- Identify that a person is suicidal – if they say it, the thought is there
- Help find help – if the person is willing, help them find the professional help they need
- Drive a suicidal chronically ill person to a counseling appointment
A healthy person has little realistic expectations of what a chronically ill person is physically or emotionally capable of. They most likely truthfully do not have the energy or ability to locate professional help much less get themselves to an appointment. Help them!!!!
Suicide is a leading cause of death. Time to face reality and deal with it. Suicide statistics are discussed in Suicide is a Leading Cause of Death.
Suicide Prevention Resources
- National Prevention Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
- text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741)
- The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889
- Veteran’s Crisis Hotline Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to connect with VA responder
- Veteran’s text message to 838255
- Veteran’s online chat session at veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat
Get involved – be prepared and help others in crisis…
- NIMH – If You Know Someone In Crisis
- Suicide Prevention Month; Ideas for Action — click on their 2-page PDF
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
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